A banner year for the St. Mary’s High School athletic program was, fittingly, capped with a state championship banner.
When the baseball Spartans defeated Mount Greylock, 3-0, at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester June 20, they put an exclamation point on another championship year for St. Mary’s, which has won at least one MIAA state championship in each of the last eight years and 20 overall.
“It’s hard to imagine another school, especially one our size, accomplishing that,” Athletic Director Jeff Newhall said of the title run. “The consistent success is a testament to our student-athletes and coaches. We are proud to have a winning culture that stretches across our athletic program.”
The numbers bear that out. St. Mary’s varsity teams were a combined 237-125-8 in 2014-15, a .651 winning percentage. That earned the school a second-place finish in the Nason Div. 3 standings, which includes 19 Catholic co-educational schools throughout the state.
Seventeen of 21 St. Mary’s varsity teams qualified for the MIAA tournament, with golf and boys soccer advancing to the sectional finals. St. Mary’s won Catholic Central League championships in boys soccer, boys basketball, softball and boys tennis.
Athletes and coaches earned individual acclaim as well as Christian Chavez (soccer), Taylor Capozzi (soccer), Dennis Bailer (boys basketball) and Mia Nowicki (softball) earned All-Scholastic honors. Chavez, Bailer and Nowicki were named Catholic Central League MVP, as was eighth-grade tennis phenom Brady Ryan.
Baseball coach Derek Dana, who played on the school’s last state championship baseball team in 1988, was named Boston Globe Coach of the Year in Div. 3. Girls soccer coach Jim Foley and Newhall, who is also the girls basketball coach, recorded their 200th career victories, while boys soccer coach Mike D’Agostino reached the 100-win milestone.
“We had our share of individual accomplishments,” said Newhall, “but the reason our teams were so successful is tremendous depth and a great combination of capable seniors and underclassmen.”
St. Mary’s athletes also scored in the classroom as more than 90 percent of National Honor Society members played at least one sport.
“That is obviously the most important factor,” Newhall said. “We place a high priority on emphasizing the student in student-athlete.”